FAQ/SUPPORT: Hints & Tips
Firms can provide:
Their logo, and
Your "profile" consists of any one file you would like to upload to JD Match, and it is what students will see when they click on your firm name for "more information."
While one file may seem limiting, the file can be of any format whatsoever--a Word document, an Adobe PDF, a PowerPoint presentation, a QuickTime movie--let your imagination be your guide.
Whatever you choose to provide can, we should add, have as many embedded hyperlinks within it as you wish to insert, greatly expanding the content available to students through your profile. For example, you could provide more specific information about each office for which you are hiring.
It can also be as simple as "Learn more about us here," with a link to the careers portion of your website.
We are keeping this as open-ended as possible both so as not to impose constraints on what you would like to present to students and in line with the overall philosophy of JD Match that no one knows better than you what's in your own self-interest.
You can change/update your profile at any time simply by substituting a new file.
Students can provide a wealth of information about themselves, all of which firms can see when they either (a) click on "more information" about you or (b) when your profile fits the results of a search a firm performs: The results of the search we provide to the firm include not merely your name but every piece of information you have chosen to provide to us.
It's in your self-interest to provide as comprehensive a profile of yourself as you possibly can. Simply put, the more information you give us, the more ways we can give firms to find you - and the more they'll know about you when they do find you.
Resumes are required of all student members. Not only is it one things firms are in tensely interested in, but we make it full-text searchable by firms, provide you give it to us in *.doc or *.txt format. For technical reasons, we can't make documents in *.pdf format full-text searchable.
You fill out your profile on JD Match by selecting the various tabs you see when you log in. Those are:
My Page: This acts as a handy summary of all the information you've given us, with links to each major area where you can add/update information.
Account Information: This is mostly for the site's registration and record-keeping purposes including such things as your "secret question" in case you forget your password. We obviously don't reveal any of this to firms.
Contact Information: This is important, since it's included in the information we give to firms about you. Please make sure it's up to date.
College: The obvious. Here you can upload your undergrad transcript, specify honors, etc.
Law School: A biggie. Not only where you are but what degree you're pursuing (LL.M.'s welcome), and, if your school calculates it, your GPA and class rank, as well as an option for uploading your transcript. JD Match operates on the honor system, and you are responsible for complying with all your school's guidelines on when and whether you can release your transcript to potential employers. Remember: This is information law firms will be able to see if they click on your profile.
Other: A crowded (sorry) but very important tab. Here is where you can provide firms information which may help you stand out from the crowd. Most of this information is optional, and what's required is indicated by a red * next to the field. It includes:
Your fluency level in a variety of languages (from none, to reading, to fluent, to native speaker)
Advanced degrees you may have earned (up to three)
Military service (relatively rare, we know, but a distinctive indicator)
Practice areas you may be interested in, a total of 12, which you can sort/re-order as you wish:
Regions of the country you would prefer to work in, which you can sort/re-order as you wish: Coming soon.
Basic diversity information--gender and race/ethnicity/disability. Purely voluntary.
Your work experience: For how many years (0, 1-2, 3+) have you held (a) full-time and (b) part-time, jobs. Coming soon.
Importantly, here is also where you can: (a) upload a photo if you wish; (b) upload your resume (required); (c) upload a writing sample or essay; and (d) enter comments you'd like law firms to see when they click on your profile.
Bottom line: It's in your self-interest to provide as comprehensive a profile of yourself as you possibly can. Simply put, the more information you give us, the more ways we can give firms to find you--and the more they'll know about you when they do find you. We urge you to complete your profile as fully as you possibly can.
You can provide (a) your logo; and (b) a brief profile of your school.
Since firms and students know who you are, we recommend your profile be kept quite simple, such as a link to your school's website overall or to your career services page.
If you think JD Match would be beneficial for your students, we ask you to consider putting a link to our site on your career services home-page. Since the more student members JD Match has, the more firms we will be able to attract as members, it's in your students' interest (and yours, we believe) to take this small step in the direction of increasing the propensity of your students to join.
And after all, what have they got to lose? Membership is free, and it can only increase--never decrease--the number of firms they're exposed to.
How do I research and rank firms?
It's actually pretty easy. As you learn more about firms, search for those you're interested in. The JD Match list has been pre-populated with the NLJ 250 firms as well as major UK and Canadian firms. If a firm you're interested in isn't on the list, you can type in the name and once we confirm it we'll add it to the list.
Note that the JD Match site is not designed to help you research firms, aside from offering you the opportunity to see the profile they've given us. You need to do your research elsewhere - using your office of career services, other publicly available websites and information providers, and whatever other tools and techniques you choose to employ, including the opinions or experience of classmates, friends and colleagues. And of course it's extremely important that your rankings reflect any direct interactions you've had with firms - for better and for worse.
Firms that hire nationally and firms that hire by office
Some firms hire nationally, but the majority hire by office. When you search for firms, you’ll see which of their offices are hiring. For firms you're interested in that hire by office, you can include one, some, or all of their offices in your rankings, and you can rank two or more offices of the same firm very differently (one high and one low). How does this work? Think of it this way: The algorithm treats each office as if it were a separate law firm, so as far as the algorithm is concerned the two offices have no relationship to each other.
To begin with, tell the algorithm the truth. That is to say, input your real, honest preferences.
Why? First of all, there is no way to "game" or strategize against, the algorithm (at least, not without perfect knowledge of the minute to minute rankings of all firms and all students in the system).
Second and more important, the algorithm takes your preferences at face value. You know what's best for you; we aren't second-guessing.
This means that if you put a less-favored firm ahead of a more-favored firm, you could get your less-favored match--even if your more-favored firm would have been paired with you had you ranked it higher.
Conversely, if your more-favored firm just isn't in the cards, the pairing won't happen. But if you don't try you won't know.
First, the more students who express interest in a firm, the more ammunition we have to get that firm to join. It's simple: If we can tell a firm that X number of students are interested in them, they will want to try to find out who you are. And the only way to do that is by joining JD Match. If you don't rank them, the odds of their joining this year are lower, so you can help influence that decision.
Second, when a firm you've ranked joins, you will be notified and you can then fine-tune your rankings: For example, you might want to rank some of their offices more highly than others.
Matches require mutual interest. You will never be matched with a firm you did not select and a firm will never be matched with a student it did not select.
Also, remember that we run the matching algorithm weekly from the first week of August through mid-September, and every 10 days or so after that to the end of OCI in late October.
This means you'll have lots of opportunities to refine and revise your rankings. Generally speaking, as recruiting season proceeds, you will be better able to correlate your rankings with how you expect the firms to rank you.